Why do we try so hard not to feel? Feelings are real. They are meant to be felt. It frustrates me that people are told that their feelings are not legitimate. That they should hide their feelings. That they feel too much. There is no such thing as feeling too much. Feelings are yours to be felt. If your feelings are intense, they are just that – intense. They are probably intense because you are going through something heavy and serious. We’ve all had traumas in our lives, things that move us to tears. Or maybe things that should move us to tears, but instead we have buried those feelings because we think we don’t have the right to be upset. Maybe there is even a bit of shame associated with your feelings. By blocking them, you only make them come out in other destructive ways.You beat yourself up. You feel the need to hide from your feelings.
All you need to do is feel. Let yourself be swept up in your feelings – no matter how intense. Don’t judge your feelings. Let them exist. If that means you spend two days crying over a friend you lost ten years ago – cry. If that means crying for no apparent reason, and feeling intense feelings of shame and guilt – cry. Don’t get caught up in how you “should” feel – or what other’s have told you is an appropriate response. Just let it all out. Be honest with yourself about how you feel. You may be surprised to find some old wounds or things you thought you were over, are in fact still raw with emotion. That’s fine.
When as a society we try to dictate how people should respond, what’s “appropriate” – what is the “typical” response or grieving period – we do ourselves a disservice. We shame people and make them feel wrong for their feelings, which makes life harder and more confusing. It’s hard to regulate feelings, they exist on their own. They can be strong and powerful. Their job is to guide us. How you feel is a reflection of your soul, of how your thoughts and feelings align with you heart. If you are moved to tears, that can drive you to take action, or it can simply act as a reminder of how important something or someone is. It can force you to reassess your place in the world or how you interact with it. Maybe you’re upset that you blew off a girl and now she’s gone forever – that can help you change the way you interact with people in the future. It can drive you to be better, to act more in alignment with your heart.
If you’re still upset about something that happened ten years ago – that’s fine. You have the right to be upset about things, and don’t let anyone tell you to “get over it” or “move on.” Do things on your own terms – when you’re ready.
It really upsets me that the notion of “mood disorder” even exists. What makes it a disorder? Having emotions and displaying them is normal and healthy. Crying is perfectly normal. Laughing is healthy. You can even do both within minutes of each other, and that’s fine too. I’ve been told I’m moody – and now I have the label “bipolar” – yay for me. I just think of it as being in tune with myself. If I’m upset, you’ll know. I don’t bother trying to mask my emotions. I don’t always cry, in fact, lately I really can’t cry at all. It’s probably the lithium. I think that sucks. I should be able to cry, to feel my emotions. That would be healthy. Masking emotions with medication, I don’t think that’s healthy at all. It buries them and denies them, when in fact there are legitimate emotions that need to be expressed. I should be upset. I should be angry. There is a lot to be upset and angry about it. It’s ok to feel those emotions. It’s ok to feel any emotion. It’s ok to be depressed when nothing seems to be working out. Just feel. That’s what’s real.